Significance of 73rd Amendment, Gram Sabha & Election
Q. Which of the following statement/statements is/are true regarding 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992?
1) The act provides for the reservation of seats for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in every Panchayat in proportion of their population to the total population in the Panchayat area.
2) All the members of Panchayats at the village, intermediate and district levels shall be elected directly by the people.- Published on 10 Mar 17
a. Only 1
b. Only 2
c. Both 1 and 2
d. None of the above
ANSWER: Both 1 and 2
Significance of 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 -
- This act added a new Part-9 to the Constitution of India entitled as ‘The Panchayats’.
- It consists of provisions from Articles 243 to 243 O.
- The act also added a new Eleventh Schedule to the Constitution.
- This schedule includes 29 functional items of the Panchayats.
- 11th Schedule deals with Article 243-G.
- This amendment has given a practical shape to Article 40 of the Constitution which says that, “The State shall take steps to organise village Panchayats and endow them with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as units of self-government.”
- This article is a Directive Principles of State Policy.
- This amendment gives a constitutional status to the Panchayati Raj institutions.
- It has made them justiciable part of the Constitution.
- The state governments are under constitutional obligation to adopt the new Panchayati Raj system as per the provisions of the act.
- Thus, now neither formation of Panchayats nor holding of elections at regular intervals depend on the will of the state government.
Salient features of the Act -
- Gram Sabha - Article 243 A.
- “Gram Sabha” means a body consisting of persons registered in the electoral rolls relating to a village comprised within the area of Panchayat at the village level.
- It is a village assembly consisting of all the registered voters in the area of a Panchayat.
- The act provides for a Gram Sabha which is to be foundation of the Panchayati Raj.
- A Gram Sabha may exercise such powers and perform such functions at the village level as the Legislature of a state may, by law, provide.
- 3-tier system of Panchayati Raj - Article 243 B.
- There shall be Panchayats at the village, intermediate and district levels in every state.
- Thus, there would be uniformity in the structure of Panchayati Raj throughout the country.
- But, Panchayats at the intermediate level may not be constituted in a State having a population not exceeding twenty lakhs.
- Election - Article 243 C.
- All the members of Panchayats at all 3 levels shall be elected directly by the people.
- The chairperson of Panchayats at intermediate and district levels shall be elected indirectly.
- This means by and from amongst the elected members thereof.
- But, the chairperson of a Panchayat at the village level shall be elected in such manner as the State Legislature prescribes.
- Reservation of seats - Article 243 D.
- There will be reservation of seats for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in every Panchayat (all 3 levels) in proportion of their population to the total population in the Panchayat area.
- The State Legislature shall also provide for the reservation of offices of chairperson in the Panchayat at the village or any other level for the SCs and STs.
- Not less than one-third of the total number of seats would be reserved for women.
- This would include the number of seats reserved for women belonging to the SCs and STs.
- Such seats may be allotted by rotation.
- Not less than one-third of the total number of offices of chairpersons in the Panchayats at each level shall be reserved for women.
- The legislature of a state can make any provision for reservation of seats in any Panchayat or offices of chairperson in the Panchayat at any level in favor of backward classes.